The number of deposit points of the five largest bookmakers by revenue in Serbia is greater than the number of branches of the five largest supermarkets. The bookmakers have also recorded a solid increase in income, which, admittedly, was especially high last year due to the World Cup in football.
Data collected by Bloomberg Adria show that there are 1,374 supermarket branches of the five largest retail chains in Serbia, while the number of betting shops is 1,626. The data was collected from the official websites of the companies and from the annual reports of the Serbian Business Register Agency (APR) for the years 2021 and 2022. At the same time, online betting is not included in this estimate.
Thus, the data show that the largest food retail chain, Delhaize, which owns Maxi supermarkets and Shop&Go corner shops, has 502 branches in the country, which is less than the number of Max Bet branches – 675.
Furthermore, Mozzart betting shops have 478 outlets, nine more than Aman and Univerexport stores in the country. Balkan Bet itself has 20 more betting shops than Lidl has individual markets.
Operations of betting shops in Serbia
Meanwhile, the bookmakers are generating serious revenue. The company with the highest revenue in this sector last year was Mozzart with 184.9 million euros, while the second was Max Bet with 117.4 million euros.
Four of the five largest bookmakers in the country by revenue saw revenue growth in 2022 compared to 2021. However, this trend doesn’t come as a big surprise because bookmakers globally earn more in years when major world competitions are held, like the World Cup in football in Qatar last year.
Owners of betting shops in Serbia are mostly private individuals, according to Dun & Bradstreet data, and of the five largest betting shops by revenue, only Balkan Bet is majority-owned by a company, Merkur Casino GmbH from Austria. This company has a 51 percent stake in Pionir International Novi Sad, which owns the MerkurXTip bookmakers. Furthermore, Admira from Kragujevac, which organizes games of chance in slot clubs, is owned by the Novo Investment Company, which is part of the Novomatic Group. That group also owns Zbet, the company that manages Admiralbet.
(Bloomberg Adria, 04.09.2023)
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